Like many artists, Karen began tackling her passion for art at a very young age. Taking clay and drawing classes at her local art association led to formal education in the arts. Beginning in 1986 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence under the tutelage of Jon Keith Swindle, Karen earned a scholarship for outstanding design students.
A break in college found her whetting her design chops on furniture making with Todd Gillingham in Milwaukee and finally earning her BFA in culture in 1994 at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. Afterwards, she went back to work as a full time mosaic artist at the notorious St. Louis City Museum. Under the auspices of the creative director, Bob Cassilly, Karen and a team of four others mosaicked thousands of square feet of what used to be the ten-story Brown Shoe Company factory.
When she moved west in 2004, she acquired a job with a small handmade tile company in Ashland, Oregon. Her first task there was to do a mosaic for the oregon Zoo in Portland followed by a large scale public commission for the city of Ashland in 2005. Under the business name MissMosaic, she went on to create other public works for Ashland, Grants Pass, McMinnville, and Talent. She's currently working on a sculpture for the Ashland Watershed Trail System. She has created fine art mosaics, ceramics, and public and private commissions from her studio in Talent, Oregon since 2007.